Mail & Guardian - - Africa -

Stroke of fate

Gabon’s vice-pres­i­dent, Pierre Claver Ma­ganga Mous­savou, has con­firmed that Pres­i­dent Ali Bongo Ondimba has had a stroke. Bongo fell ill dur­ing a con­fer­ence in Saudi Ara­bia in Oc­to­ber. He is re­ceiv­ing fur­ther treat­ment in Morocco. Mous­savou has now taken on more of an ac­tive role in the coun­try’s pol­i­tics, af­ter the Con­sti­tu­tional Court ruled that he may chair a Cab­i­net meet­ing, which had been put on hold ever since Bongo was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal.

Stream­ing Africa’s tal­ent

Net­flix will next year launch its first orig­i­nal se­ries from Africa. Ti­tled Queen Sono, the se­ries will fea­ture South African ac­tress Pearl Thusi and will be co-di­rected by co­me­dian Kag­iso Lediga. It is a drama about a se­cret agent who takes on mis­sions to bet­ter the lives of peo­ple on the con­ti­nent. Net­flix is fo­cus­ing on ex­pand­ing into Africa and has re­cently ac­quired rights to Nige­rian ac­tress Genevieve Nnaji’s movie Lion­heart.

Mozam­bique’s ‘ghost’ of­fi­cials

Thirty-thou­sand “ghost em­ploy­ees” cost the Mozam­bi­can gov­ern­ment $250-mil­lion over two years. The “em­ploy­ees” were ei­ther fic­ti­tious, not work­ing for the gov­ern­ment or dead. The gov­ern­ment dis­cov­ered its ghost work­force when it con­ducted “proof of life” tests on its 348000 work­ers.more than half the state’s ex­pen­di­ture is spent on salaries. Min­is­ter of State Ad­min­is­tra­tion Carmelita Na­mashu­lua said this had cost the gov­ern­ment about $250-mil­lion be­tween 2015 and 2017.

Po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in So­ma­lia

So­ma­lia’s Pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Ab­dul­lahi Mo­hamed, also known as Far­majo, faces a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence. He was ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion “by en­gag­ing [in a] se­cret me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with for­eign coun­tries”, AFP re­ported. The mo­tion comes af­ter Far­majo’s his­toric meet­ing with Ethiopian Prime Min­is­ter

Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean Pres­i­dent Isa­ias Afw­erki a month ago dur­ing which the na­tions be­gan to dis­cuss im­prov­ing their eco­nomic ties.

Coin­ing it

This week Kenya un­veiled its new cur­rency de­sign, which re­places the faces of pres­i­dents with im­ages of an­i­mals. Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta said the new de­signs em­brace Kenya’s her­itage. The new look one, five, 10 and 20 shilling coins are now em­bossed with a lion, an ele­phant, a hippo and a gi­raffe. The old coins fea­ture former pres­i­dents Jomo Keny­atta and Daniel arap Moi. Kenya’s new con­sti­tu­tion, adopted in 2010, pro­hibits the use of por­traits on the coun­try’s cur­ren­cies.

Yel­low vest ban

The Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment has re­stricted sales of flu­o­res­cent yel­low vests, and has ar­rested a lawyer who wore one. The vests have been worn dur­ing the cur­rent protests in France, where they are known as gilets jaunes. Egypt is try­ing to fore­stall copy­cat protests. “[The gov­ern­ment] made us sign state­ments that we won’t sell yel­low vests,” one Cairo trader said. “Any­one who sells a sin­gle vest will put him­self in big trou­ble.” — Briefs compiled by Gemma Ritchie, Mashadi Kekana and Sarah Smit, sourced from Africa News, BBC Africa, AFP, Daily Na­tion, The Na­tion, Reuters and Sky News

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